2020 ACSSW National School Social Work Institute

Building a School Wide SEL Program to Support Students with Trauma

Marina Badillo, LCSW, DSW Candidate

This presentation focuses on Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Program implementation for school social workers (primary, middle, and high school) using a case example of an urban alternative charter high school. Research on trauma and SEL will be reviewed to understand how SEL programming can support students who are at risk. Program implementation theory to develop high quality SEL programing for schools will be examined. Lastly, organization structure, stakeholders, advocacy, data gathering, and sustainability will be discussed. Handouts will be provided.

Changing the Narrative: From Criminals to Scholars

Amandla Daniels, MSW, SSW; Bekki Crowley, MEd

This workshop will provide an overview of the cultural shift that occurred at the Vel R. Phillips School, located within Milwaukee County's Juvenile Justice Facility, resulting in a reduction of behavioral issues, improvement in the educational setting, and retention of teaching staff through the use of trauma-sensitive practices. Learn about the techniques and tools that were implemented to achieve 23% less fewer behavioral incidents and an increased retention of teaching staff from 70% to 87%.

Complex Trauma in the Classroom and Therapeutic Strategies to Address Learning

Ashley Ice, LCSW

Exposure to complex trauma has profound effects on youth brain development. Trauma that effects development shows up in the classroom and can impact an individual's ability to learn, especially if their ability to regulate is underdeveloped. We discuss complex trauma and its impact, the implications of working with trauma populations, and effective therapeutic strategies to help youth heal in academic institutions. 

Connecting Schools and Physicians Using ACEs Screeners

Joe Zima, LMSW

Learn how St. Clair County RESA is piloting a collaborative physician to school referral system, utilizing ACES Screeners at Wellness Checks along with support from our county health department. Attendees will leave with an electronic implementation kit that they can use to pilot a similar system.

Creating a Positive School Climate Utilizing a Trauma-Informed Approach

Allison M. Gosch, DSW, LCSW; Sirae Sprecher, LCSW

School climate is a key component in the academic achievement and emotional wellbeing of primary and secondary school students. Using multiple school climate and organizational theories, this interactive presentation examines school climate from administrator and teacher perspectives via a qualitative process and trauma-informed approach. This presentation analyzes participant interviews and explores four themes: Interpersonal, Surrounding Community, Trickle Effect, and Personal Experiences.

This presentation makes the connection between education and social work and identifies how we can create a positive school climate by being trauma-informed. It includes interactive, break-out activities that will encourage concrete, trauma-informed "take-aways" for your school. A large-group discussion of the proposed themes as well as limitations of the study and recommendations for social work practice in schools will conclude the presentation.

Creating a Trauma-Informed Culture for Students who were Formerly Incarcerated

Susan Hess, LCSW-IL

This workshop will introduce Trauma-Informed Interview Coaching as an innovative approach to assist students with criminal justice histories find success in applying for employment and higher education. Participants will work with trauma-informed principles as applied through an intersectional, anti-oppressive lens to engage in educational practices that promote social justice.

Creativity for Community: Using a Trauma-Informed Model of Arts to Enhance Your Social Work Practice

Mandy Goodwin, MSW, LCSW

Arts are a powerful tool in promoting community and school culture. Arts enhance lessons in individual and small groups, while building rapport and cohesion. In this presentation, participants will be familiarized with art projects for different populations and how to utilize them within the school setting. Participants will learn what it means to follow a trauma-informed model in application and will receive a large packet of detailed projects, supplies, and instructions. Participants will take part in their own collaborative arts project.

CSEC in Schools: Trauma-Informed Practices for Preventing and Responding to Commercial Sexual Exploitation in Schools

Holly Priebe Sotelo, MSW, PPSC

This workshop will provide participants with the current trends, research, and the latest trauma-informed strategies for preventing and intervening with commercial sexual exploitation within the school community.

Excellence in Edmonton! Supporting ACEs North of the Border.

Tracy Mastrangelo, Social Work-Diploma, MA; Jennifer Harris, Registered Provisional Psychologist

Under the umbrella of Edmonton Public Schools and the Harry Ainlay Catchment area schools (21 schools, 11,000 students and families), the E2 initiative provides integrated wellness supports and services to vulnerable children, youth, and their families and caregivers. We offer evidence-based individual, targeted, and universal supports through intentional relationships that operationalize best practices in brain science, ACEs, trauma informed practices, and inclusive approaches to improve resilience and mitigate risk factors for children and youth. The broad outcome for our initiative is to nurture excellence for all students through the creation of positive social, emotional, and academic outcomes for vulnerable children and youth.

From Overwhelmed to Resilient—Going from Trauma-Organized to Trauma-Informed

Erin Browder, MSEd, ABD; Christina Pate, PhD

Facilitating trauma-informed conversations in schools is far from simple. Many of our schools and organizations are in crisis mode 24/7. For many of us, it is difficult to be a trauma-informed steward and shift a culture that has long-operated in survival mode. The trauma-informed journey is both personal and collective. The methods chosen must be intentional so audiences can build awareness, reflect, and engage with the content and each other. In this session, we will explore practices that initiate trauma-informed shifts within organizational culture and tap into group potential and identities.

Healing Centered Expressive Practices for Children and Families Impacted by Trauma

Estela Andujo, PhD, LCSW; Michal Sela Amit, PhD

Trauma may have detrimental consequences in the lives of children, youth, and families. It has both short and long-term impacts on physical as well as mental health. It often interferes not only with emotional and cognitive processing and learning, but also with the ability to fully thrive and enjoy wellness. Trauma care is the first necessary step to ensure the restoration of health, but trauma care alone is not enough to fully achieve well-being. Clients are more than their traumas and thriving is more than being trauma-free. This workshop will demonstrate the use of integrative methods that social workers in schools can use to assist in sensory integration and trauma recovery as well as move beyond it toward a full articulation of their strengths.

Implementing the New School Social Work Standards for California

Robert Ayasse, LCSW, PPSC; Stephen Hydon, EdD, MSW

In April of 2019, the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing adopted new statewide standards and performance expectations for school social work. This workshop will outline the new standards, highlight substantive changes, and provide suggested pathways for implementation.

Intentional Field Instruction: A Structured Pacing Approach to Deliver Trauma-Informed Services

Cherie Hudson, MSW, LCSW, PPSC; Tory Cox, EdD, LCSW, PPSC; Sally Stevens, LCSW, PPSC

As school mental health professionals and field instructors, we have developed an intentional teaching platform aligned to the CSWE Social Work Competencies to build on each skill through pacing to develop a sustainable infrastructure that supports the reduction of behavioral health problems through a preventive model. We train our interns to deliver interventions at macro and micro levels, reducing racial and socioeconomic disparities by servicing all students to diminish gaps in service. This creates an equitable platform which is cost effective to ethically serve our communities.

Through the utilization of our university-agency partnership to mentor interns the way we were mentored in graduate school, we can give back to the profession and develop symbiotic relationships to further advance the social work profession by building a workforce pipeline. To this end, we model and teach the future of school social work with the necessary tools to be successful and our university students touch the many lives we did not have the capacity to reach. Additionally, we learn from these upcoming social workers by integrating the latest research or technology into our own practices as they provide an extension of ourselves. This workshop will empower participants to be reflective in their social work teaching practices, ethically develop their own intern pacing guide, and ensure the healthy development of all youth by meeting the diverse needs of the community that they service.

Last on the List?  Deepening Your Awareness and Enhancing Your Wellness Using Self-Coaching Strategies

Amy Nelson, MSSW, CAPSW

We take care of others and often forget about ourselves. Through exploring values and thoughts, including those that sabotage our wellness, participants will learn strategies to use on their own self-care journey. As you know, social workers are rarely drawn to wellness breakouts (the past me included!). I will use life coaching experience and training to tap into each person's values and beliefs, as this is the foundation for our everyday thoughts and feelings. Fully honoring our values and beliefs brings fulfillment and gives us energy. Guided visualizations will highlight this and tap into what our thoughts are at the start of school year versus the end of the school year. Enter our inner saboteur, with thoughts that deliberately damage and destroy our confidence, hope, and resilience. Through fully exploring this saboteur, participants shine a light on the dissonant voices within and begin to develop strategies that honor their values and improve their wellness.

Law and Ethics in School Social Settings

Robert Ayasse, LCSW, PPSC

Social work practice in school settings presents a variety of unique legal and ethical issues. This workshop reviews the relevant legal codes such as FERPA, Minor Consent for Treatment, and Laws on Confidentiality and introduces a decision-making process for coping with ethical dilemmas. Participants will discuss vignettes that are drawn from situations encountered practice.

Lawndale Elementary School District’s Trauma-Informed Approach to Promote a Collaborative Culture for Student Mental Health.

Maria Ruelas, EdD, MSW, PPSC; Martika Tucker, ACSW, PPSC; Evelyn Garcia, LCSW, PPSC

This presentation will address the use of Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) and Social Emotional Learning (SEL) to focus on trauma-informed practices in school settings. Participants will develop the skills to shift perspectives through professional development for all staff (i.e., certificated and classified staff). In addition, participants will learn how to realize the prevalence of trauma and recognize the impact trauma has on developmental behavior through an interactive presentation. Participants will also learn strategies to respond to behaviors while utilizing vignettes to apply a trauma-informed lens. After this presentation, participants will learn effective strategies to restore relationships with students.

Practical Strategies for Regulating Students’ Brains

Joshua MacNeill, MEd; Kathy Van Horn, Licensed Psychologist, MEd

Knowing your students are impacted by trauma is only step one.  It is more important to know what to do.  This session will cover interventions such as brain breaks, fidgets, student curriculum, and service dogs.  We will share how we transformed four schools to meet the needs of struggling students.  Whether you are an academic, clinical, or administrative staff, you will leave with tangible interventions you can implement immediately.

Additionally, we will provide basic information about each brain region along with different interventions that work specifically for that region.  By choosing appropriate interventions, targeted at the brain region your students are operating from, you will observe many more short-term successes, and begin paving the way for long-term healing.

Professional Resilience for Social Workers—What, How, and Why

Alejandra Acuña, PhD, LCSW, PPSC

Although burnout, depression, PTSD, and secondary traumatic stress rates are elevated among social workers, social workers also report resilience, vicarious resilience, vicarious post-traumatic growth, and high compassion satisfaction. Findings from a recent survey of social work field instructors (N=110) will be presented as well as theoretical (transactional analysis) and empirically supported strategies for practitioners and organizations.

Self-Care for School Social Workers: Activating More Mindfulness in Education Settings

Neva G. Wallach, MSW

This workshop emphasizes the importance of mindfulness and self-care practices within schools as a core component of becoming trauma-informed. The presenter will share strategies for promoting mindfulness in schools and concrete tools for social workers to use with students, families, and school staff. Participants will have the opportunity to reflect on their own stress management and self-care practices as a pathway towards more trauma-informed schools.

Social Support: Increasing Resiliency Among Individuals Who Have Experienced Trauma

Timmesha Butler, LCSW

Social support is a key factor in building rapport in a working relationship. It creates an environment of safety and trust. In addition, social support has been associated with increasing resiliency among individuals who have experienced some form of adverse life events (Zoellner, 2015). Different forms of social support act as a catalyst in developing the motivation to adopt healthy and reduce risky behaviors.

Specifically for students with disabilities, social support has been shown to increase self-esteem and optimism. Students who perceive their educational environments as safe and supportive are more willing to be receptive of resources. Social support is a unique concept in that it varies based on individual need. However, the University of Pennsylvania (2019) describes four types of social support as 1. Emotional, 2. Instrumental, 3. Informational, and 4. Appraisal.

The purpose of this presentation is to present social support as a reliable resource in trauma-informed care. This presentation will use the four types of social support as a foundation for identifying micro-level interventions and methods to effectively address issues related to trauma in the school environment. Additionally, the presentation will expand on social support related practices that specifically target the trauma experienced by students with learning and or behavior/emotional disabilities.

Stereotype Threat: Addressing the Traumatic Impacts of Bias in Schools

Mary Traylor, MSW; Lily Ross, LCSW

In this collaborative workshop, school social workers will gain a deeper understanding of the concept of stereotype threat and the ways a trauma-informed and healing-centered approach can help mitigate the impacts of this form of chronic trauma. Using cognitive behavioral strategies, interventions will be developed to help adolescents understand what they may be experiencing when they identify their own stereotype threat. Additionally, participants will be encouraged to explore their roles as advocates and trainers in their school communities to help reduce bias in schools.

The Power of Positive Language: A Trauma Informed Approach to Build Resiliency and a Culture of Connectedness and Empowerment

Rosemary Alamo, LCSW, PPSC; Rick Ornelas, MSW

The use of positive language is a critical tool for social work practitioners. It helps build rapport and trust with clients, parents, teachers, and colleagues. Whether social work practitioners communicate verbally or in written form, the language selected will affect how the message is perceived. Social work practitioners in either a micro or macro role can utilize positive language to foster resiliency in schools, help mitigate conflict, improve communication, increase optimism in others, and can portray the social worker as credible and respectable.

Transforming the Chaos: Rethinking School Wide Systems

Jessica Leal, LMSW

This presentation will describe the steps a school social worker can take to help school administrators to change their school culture from “Chaos” to “Calm” by implementing many trauma-informed practices. This presentation will focus on how to implement school wide systems for support so that students can receive both quality core instruction and also the proper tier 2 and tier 3 supports they need. You will learn specific trauma-informed strategies that will transform your classroom and schools quickly and effectively from kindergarten to high school. Learn ways in which school staff can move out of frustration and back into enjoying their careers again.

Trauma Interventions that Promote Healthy Relationships and Decrease the Risk of Sexual Violence

Alexandra Hill, MSW Student/Candidate

Helping youth develop healthy relationships is a critical realm of trauma-informed school social work practice. This presentation will examine trauma-informed, culturally-responsive, sexual health-related social-emotional learning as a Tier One intervention in school settings.

Participants will learn practice skills for increasing trauma-informed conversations around teen dating violence and how to emphasize LGBTQIA+ equity and inclusion. A specific focus will be the ways school social workers can partner with sexual health educators to increase trauma interventions that promote healthy relationships and decrease risk of sexual violence.

As school-based professionals, school social workers and sexual health educators share an important area of work – helping students to negotiate relationship skills and sexual-identity exploration. Historically, however, school social workers have often facilitated such conversations as an intervention, rather than as a prevention strategy. School social workers are specially equipped to facilitate discussions on healthy relationships and identity exploration in a trauma-informed, culturally-sensitive manner. Given the lengthy racist history of healthy relationship education in schools, an anti-racist framework for these Tier One interventions will be presented. The workshop aligns with the Center for Disease Control (CDC) trauma-informed approach’s guiding principle which calls for highlighting issues of culture, history, and gender.

Trauma-Informed Interventions with Students after a School Shooting or Student Suicide

Jerry Ciffone, MSW, LCSW

In the immediate wake of a school shooting or student suicide, administrators, teachers, students, and parents expect that the school social worker will take an active role with acutely-stressed or grief-stricken students. Participants in this workshop will learn a way to effectively assist individuals as well as groups of such affected students by using the presenter’s twelve-phase trauma-informed intervention. This intervention incorporates a sequence of up to 80 specific and practicable tasks that are also often used in crisis intervention, psychological first aid, critical incidence stress debriefing, and post trauma counseling.

Trauma-informed Skills for Educators (TISE)

Vivien Villaverde, MS SW, LCSW, PPSC; Pamela Vona, MA, MPH

The Trauma-Informed Skills for Educators (TISE) is a professional development designed to enhance educators’ knowledge about trauma. Part 1 focuses on increasing educators’ understanding of trauma prevalence, impacts, and recognizing symptoms on students. Part 2 helps educators learn concrete skills and strategies to support students to foster trauma responsiveness throughout the school community. This training aims to increase knowledge and skills of all school staff as well as provide support services staff the tools to help engage their school to be more trauma-responsive.

Understand the Neurosequential Model of Education and Trauma-Informed Educational Techniques for the Classroom

Jennifer Lewis, PhD, LCSW; Bianca Harper, DSW, LCSW

Trauma-informed practices have become the standard of care in clinical practice settings and have been integrated into the course content at most schools of social work. However, many programs have not considered how the delivery of the content impacts the students with lived experience of trauma, which is increasingly more common in schools of social work. Informed by the Neurosequential Model of Education (Perry, 2013) the presenters will offer a new approach to the sequencing of clinical practice courses to ensure that the most effective learning care take place.

We Need Wellness Centers, and We Need Them Now!

Cristina Dobon Claveau, LCSW, PPS; Craig Gibbs, LCSW, PPS; Sabrina Vella, LCSW, PPS

Wellness Centers are not a new concept in schools. The implementation of the Wellness Centers in Roseville Joint High School District was a very fast process with many challenges along the way. The presenters will discuss the implementation of their comprehensive student centered and trauma-informed Wellness Program within the guides of a Multi-Tiered System of Support framework and how the program went from idea to a district priority.

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